Donegal have drawn a line under their Allianz National League campaign and the focus is now totally on championship football.
“The league is the league and the championship is the championship and our focus now is on the championship and Derry,” said versatile Donegal defender Frank McGlynn.
“The league campaign overall was a very positive one for us even though we lost the final. The performance in the final was disappointing alright but when you take the league as a whole, there were more positives than negatives.
“We won promotion which was the main objective at the start of the year and blooded a number of younger players that have come through and strengthened our squad.
The emergence of Martin McElhinney as a genuine midfield option and the performances of Odhran MacNiallais, in the half-forward line, were two of the individuals positives highlighted by the 2012 All-Star.
And given that Jim McGuinness is preparing this week without the suspended Rory Kavanagh and the departed Mark McHugh, the emergence of McElhinney and MacNiallais couldn’t be more timely. “Rory and Mark are big and are going to be losses alright. But with Martin McElhinney and Odhran MacNiallais having good league campaigns behind them we have good cover for the two boys.
“It is a matter of Martin and Odhran maintaining their league form and stepping up to the mark on Sunday against Derry.”
The fact that the Oak Leafers were playing in Division One and Donegal were playing a league down in Division Two doesn’t bother the Glenfin man either.
“We came from Division Two in 2011 as well and won promotion and then went on to win the Ulster championship and reached the All-Ireland final.
“So I don’t see any reason why we cannot repeat that again this year with a bit of luck along the way. Also last year, Tyrone, reached the Division One final and we were at the other end of the table and relegated.
“But when we met in Ballybofey, that didn’t count for much and we won that game. I know we are away from home this year, which is something new to us, but it is a similar story.
“Derry are the form team and are going into the game on the back of a good league and are beaten finalists.
“We are expecting a battle alright but there is a good mood in the camp. Preparations have gone well since the league final and it is a game we also feel we can win.”